The Diwan of Shams of Tabriz, by Jalaluddin Rumi


I don`t get tired of You.
Don`t grow weary of being compassionate toward me!

All this thirst-equiptment
must surely be tired of me,
the waterjar, the water-carrier.

Show me the way to the Ocean!
Break these half-measures,
these snall containers.

All this fantasy
and grief.

Let my house be drowned in the wave
that rose last night out of the courtyard
hidden in the center of my chest .

Joseph fell like the moon into my well.
The Harvest i expected was washed away.
But no matter.

A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.
I don`t want learning, or dignity,
or respectability.

I want this music and this dawn
and the warmth of your cheek against mine.

The grief-armies assemble ,
but I`m not going with them.

This is how it always is
when I finish a poem.

A Great Silence overcomes me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.


Forget the world, and so
command the world.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone`s soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.

Stay in the spiritual fire.
Let it cook you.

Be well-baked loaf
and lord of the table.

Come and be served
to your brothers.

You have been a source of pain.
Now you`ll be the delight.

You have been an unsafe house.
Now you`ll be the One
who sees into the Invisible.

I said this, and a Voice came to my ear:
If you become this, you will be That!

Then Silence,
and now more Silence.

A mouth is not for talking.
A mouth is for tasting this sweetness.


Those who don`t feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don`t drink dawn
like a cup of springwater
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don`t want to change,

let them sleep

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,

sleep on

I`ve given up on my brain.
I`ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you`re not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.


Whose idea was this,
to have the lover visible
and the beloved invisible?

So many people have died for their desiring
because of this. The lover cannot kiss
the lips he wants, so he bites himself!

Satisfaction is always two bow-shots away,
and yet something in the soul
prefers this unreachable Lover
to anyone reachable.

This being locked-in,
is better than having the keys
to the consolation-house.

The Beloved`s rejection is wanted more
than anyone else`s acceptance.

World-happinesss is nothing.
Look for what Bestami had, for
what Sanai and Attar wrote of.

A beautiful meal looks delicious.
Then one night passes, and the food passes
through you, becoming repellent filth.

Eat Love-food.
Suckle the toes of a Lion
like the baby Abraham did in the cave.

But you should put away what you learned
as a foetus in your cave, that need for blood.

There is a tall tower that Love builds.
Live there in Silence.

The One who knows all secrets
is here now, nearer
than your jugular vein.